Stories

Tiny, twisted carbon coils can capture ocean's energy

Y. Zhang, A. Noy 2017

Two new studies in Science demonstrate potentially groundbreaking applications for carbon nanotubes: filtering water even better than nature itself, and harnessing energy from ocean waves.

Why it matters: Until now, efforts to capture energy from things that are constantly moving in nature (e.g. waves or the human body) and convert it into electricity has been limited to tiny circuits with small currents of electricity. Carbon nanotubes could allow natural sources of energy to be efficiently tapped because their atomic bonds are so strong and can be stretched and twisted into bigger structures.